I participate in a forum on a game I play. This discussion has been on gay rights, and I was encouraged to see that the young people playing this game are, for the most part, fair minded and progressive in their views. This was my contribution. I had linked to the thread, but apparently it has been removed, as it devolved into unpleasantness, sad to say, however, up to the point I posted here, it had been nicely written posts from several people, and I wish I had copied that portion.
I just read this entire thread, and am impressed. This has been an excellent discussion. I am a celibate straight. I know, a WHAT? Well, it’s a long story I won’t go into here, but, of course there are those who presume that I secretly live an alternate lifestyle, most especially since my most supportive and loving friend is gay. I am glad to see the openness here that will eventually work it’s way into the rw.
Society is in flux right now. Many things have changed since I was a youth, (I’m ancient, 57), the changes are not all good. The gangs, and the violence that we are seeing are things that make us all quake in fear. Some would hastily say that this is because of the breakdown of societies’ “walls” so to speak. And, yes, it is not unusual to see anarchy in times of change. It has not been that long ago that women were not considered human or intelligent enough to vote. It has only been 3 centuries since a pope erred regarding the humanity of indigenous peoples when Europeans were wresting their lands from them, making it moral as well as legal to kill humans of different ethnicity.
Many institutions, such as the church, may feel that they must keep old traditions, even wrong ones, alive as part of their duty. But, as the US constitution points out, institutions are there for the people, not the people for institutions. I don’t want to see these old institutions completely disappear. I want their board members and leaders to see that we are growing in awareness of what is right and what is wrong, and that there are simply times the old rules no longer apply.
Forcing others to live by standards I have set for my life is just simply not appropriate. If we use the rule of “compassion first” in every decision we make, in every stance we take, we will find that we do not need to choose how our neighbor lives his or her life, so long as the rights of all are respected. I am drawn to the Buddhist stance on sexual practices, “I will not have sex with anyone that is not morally or legally free to choose to be with me.” That leaves out the gender of my partner, but makes it my responsibility to see that my partner is not married to another, legally underage, or in any way compromised in their freedom to be sexual with whomever they choose. I can live with that.
I truly feel that until we get to a point where we no longer feel we “own” the space occupied by others, and therefore must let them be in their lives, asking only that the rights of all other beings be respected also, we will not progress to a point where we live in peace. That is sad, since it seems that choosing for others is still something we feel we must do, often and usually with horrible results. I wish all my readers peace and compassion in all of their ways and all of their days.